Thus has announced the launch of its 03 non geographic number range for businesses and public sector organisations. Callers will be able to dial the 03 range with the knowledge that they will only be charged for the rate of a national call (i.e. numbers with a 01 or 02 prefix) in contrast to some 08 numbers which are often more expensive to dial.
Thus has introduced the range following the decision by Ofcom to distribute the 03 numbers to restore consumer confidence when calling businesses and public sector bodies. The number range will allow people to recognise when they are calling an organisation that is not using the call to generate revenue.
The 0303 numbers offered by Thus will be reserved for the exclusive use of public sector and not-for-profit organisations while 0330 will be employed for general business use. This will bring further clarity and transparency to the use of non geographic numbers and restore consumer confidence in their use. Unlike 08 numbers, the new 03 number range can be called within the terms of telephone service contracts. For example, people that enjoy free weekend calls as a part of their service bundle will be able to include calls to 03 numbers as a part of this entitlement.
Businesses wishing to start using the 03 numbers will be able to benefit from the number migration service offered by Thus. Businesses already using 0844, 0845, 0870 and 0871 will have their 03 equivalents reserved for their use until December 2008. This will allow businesses choosing to migrate to the 03 suffix to keep the rest of their original number, helping businesses to ensure continuity and avoid customer confusion.
Nigel Stevens, Product Director at Thus plc, commented: “This new number range provides an attractive alternative for any business or public sector organisation that wants to maintain the trust of its customers or service users. Consumers will use the numbers while fully aware of the cost, generating trust and confidence in the organisation they are contacting. In addition to bringing clarity and transparency to the use of non-geographic numbers, it will also result in lower costs for consumers.”